Volunteer of the month August 2012: Rhys Llewellyn

Rhys with his Push team mates

Since training in 2006, Rhys has been an invaluable member of the Back Up’s team of  wheelchair skills trainers. As well as teaching skills to people with spinal cord injury, Rhys has also helped to train fellow wheelchair skills trainers on 4 separate training weekends.

Sean McCallion, Outreach and Support Manager, says, “Rhys is really good at applying skills to every day situations. He explains things very clearly, which helps people who are becoming trainers to learn the best way to teach others. If there’s something you can do in a wheelchair, Rhys will have a tip on how to do it better or more easily.”

Rhys has volunteered on no less than 12 Back Up residential courses, ranging from drama, city challenge, water ski and multi activity. He says, “It’s great seeing the improvement in people’s skills; seeing them progress. Often at the start of a course people have no idea how they will manage without their stabilisers, or how they will learn to do kerbs or back wheel balance. It’s a great feeling for me when at the end of the course they leave with no stabilisers on their chair, and being able to do kerbs and a whole lot more.”

Having taken part in 4 of Back Up’s ‘Push’ events, both up Mount Snowdon and Mount Helvellyn, Rhys has made a massive impact in terms of fundraising, raising over £8,000.

Regularly travelling long distances to provide wheelchair skills training at several spinal units, Rhys’ energy, enthusiasm and total dedication to Back Up have made a huge different to hundreds of people with spinal cord injury, both through his voluntary work and fundraising.